Saturday 4th October
Things didn’t look overly promising for a trip out as the early hours of Saturday morning brought with it a fairly hefty downpour and by the time I surfaced at around 9am it was very overcast, damp and a little breezy, the Autumnal weather seems to have well and truly set in. After a bite to eat and a trip to the shops for Mrs Blood, I set off for the river, hoping the levels were not too high to fish.
Again choosing the Rowland’s Gill stretch today I set off around 12.45 or so landing at the car park at around 1.10, not so many cars today as the slightly inclement weather had put all but the most ardent dog walkers off.
Today saw the first airing of my wax jacket given it was slightly cooler.
I walked up to the stone bridge as I planned to fish from just above it right down through the newly named “tree pool” and maybe beyond. I did tinker with fishing the weir pool just above the stone bridge but access is tricky and I ended up not wetting a fly here, next time I will though as I suspect there are some nice fish lurking in this oxygen rich water…. and given my new ethos of fishing previously un-fished pools it is something I should be doing now!
Anywhoo I climbed in about 50 yards above the stone bridge, the water did look slightly up from the low Summer water level that it seems to have been for a couple of months but certainly nowhere near high, probably at normal levels truth be told.
I ambled down toward the bridge not starting to fish until I got to within about ten to fifteen yards of the bridge. I was again kitted up with the Gold head GRHE with a red collar and a Greenwell’s spider on the dropper……….. well if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, that’s my motto!
The run just as it enters the bridge conveniently splits into two so from mid stream you can fish both sides of the water that runs under the bridge.
There were a couple of fish showing and maybe second cast in I had a pull…and a miss, almost immediately though maybe next cast I took my first of the day from the right hand bank side a nice silver grayling of about 6” taken on the Greenwell’s , this was the start of what would turn out to be one of my best days on the River Derwent.
Another four fish fell in this run as I worked my way through the bridge 7” brown on the GRHE 6” brown on the GRHE 5” grayling on the GRHE all these taken between 1.27 and 1.48pm a good start alright and with plenty of fish rising things were looking good.
Coming out of from under the bridge… back into daylight the water swirls and eddies beautifully and I am sure it is fairly packed with fish. I worked my way down this next run and again the fish were fairly amenable throughout this run. I managed to fool another five fish to my hand three grayling and two brownies all between five and seven inch really tremendous sport caught both on the GRHE and the spider, spread fairly evenly between the two. It was about fifty yards above the next small weir that I spotted a rise right up against the right hand bank. Now I am normally a traditional down and across fisherman but I am not averse to a cheeky bit of “high sticking” should the opportunity arise! And this was just the occasion , really a bit too close in to cast to , I flicked my flies over him, with hardly any fly line in the water maybe just six inches or so , nothing on the first cast, second time though he went for it, I lifted into him and he was on , a nice fight and a decent wild fish of around twelve inches but beautifully marked, a really pretty fish , strange how sometimes from the most delicate rises a decent fish can come to hand, another small brownie of six inch followed before I got to the weir and was taken on the GRHE…well pleased with my efforts I moved slowly down to the next run.
The river here bends slightly to the left over a very small weir, again there are two runs for there price of one here, I had a really strong take on the left hand bank run but missed him, it felt like a good fish too, I did manage a small grayling of around five inches from the right hand bank on a Greenwell’s spider.
It was now around 2.30 and it had been a belting hour or so. I was into the slacker water just around the corner where the water runs under a tree again a run I seldom fish it was here I hooked into a better fish from the left hand bank and nice steady take and a decent fight deep and slow before I got a very nice grayling of around eleven or twelve inch to hand again taken on the Greenwell’s spider on the dropper, this was at 3.32pm though so I had a whole hour without a fish to hand although that’s not to say the bite dried up.
I was now at the newly named “tree pool” a very slow pool with .. as the name would suggest, a few trees in the water that create both nice eddying water, no doubt a bolt hole and food for the fish , one tree is right at the top of the pool, then a nice 40 yards or so of slack water with a nice slow flow through mid stream. I hooked two big brownies out of this run last time out so I entered with confidence!
With the water being so slow I find I have to be almost Heron like wading slowly, slowly so as not to make too much disturbance in the water. I started fishing this pool and there was still at least one fish rising, first out of this pool was a nice nine inch wild brown taken just after 3.45 a belting fight for his size and it was a real struggle to turn him from one of the trees, turn him I did though.
Three minutes later and a slightly bigger fish again a brown from almost the same spot. another five minutes and the fish of the day was hooked maybe ten yards further down the pool, a solid thump and I could tell it was a grayling I could feel him using his dorsal fin against the current, it was almost like the line was snagged with weed above the hook, a spirited fight almost no splashing just fighting deep and slow, a couple of minutes of tussling and he was a bit bigger than I initially thought, one for the net this one and when I slipped it under him he came in at around fifteen or sixteen inch again a belting belting fish for me and something like the biggest grayling I have seen personally …very similar size to the one I caught a couple of weeks ago… maybe slightly smaller, their scales almost feel like armour at this size, beautiful fish though… my barbless GRHE actually fell out in the net, time for a couple of really quick snaps then carefully managed his return to the water, holding him steady in the water flow until he darted back off to his hiding hole no doubt.
The biggest fish of the day was followed as if often the case by the smallest none the less a beautiful grayling of about 3” taken just before 4pm.
That was it for the day, a short-ish session of about two and a half hours. Saying that probably one of the best sessions I have had on the river, fish from the get go, almost take after take from the bridge right through to the tree pool. A good mix of both grayling and Browns, all pretty much evenly taken on the GRHE and the Greenwell’s spider. If I logged them correctly I think I ended up with seventeen fish to hand, more grayling than browns, I didn’t change the flies all day.
Add to that a grayling at or around my personal best and it all adds up to a brilliant day on the river.
No REALLY………a brilliant day.